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Bobby Kotick recently sent a letter to the employees of Activision Blizzard, the video game-holding company headquartered in Santa Monica, California. “I wanted to take a moment out of our successful, busy launch season to provide an update on our progress toward the completion of our merger with Microsoft. With increased competition globally from companies with huge talent pools and resources, becoming part of a company with access to talent around the world will help us fill the thousands of open positions we will have over the next few years,” stated the Activision Blizzard CEO. He thanked employees for their “passion, enthusiasm, and commitment to excellence.”

“We have been, and will be, in fierce competition to attract and retain the talent we need to create content that will meet the demands of our growing audiences. Being a part of Microsoft will help us better realize our ambitions and satisfy the high standards of our audiences,” continued Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.

“As we said when we announced our merger, this is a long process. We have already received approvals from countries, including Brazil. After a close review of the transaction, the Brazilian authority arrived at the understanding that we operate in a highly dynamic and competitive industry and that the merger will not harm competition in any way.” According to Kotick, the acquisition is progressing right on schedule. “We continue to work cooperatively with regulators in other jurisdictions, and the process is moving along as we expected,” the CEO wrote to Activision Blizzard employees.

Activision Blizzard and Microsoft: Regulators Investigating the Acquisition

Currently, the Microsoft merger has been approved by regulators in some places, including Saudi Arabia and Brazil, and is still being investigated in the United Kingdom and the European Union. “Because so many large global companies across the world are now competing in the nearly $200 billion games industry, it’s understandable that regulators are trying to better understand the games business. This week, the European Commission announced that we have entered the second phase of our review in the region,” stated Bobby Kotick.

The European Commission stated that it will conduct a full investigation into the deal over concerns the transition “may reduce competition in the markets for the distribution of console and personal computers video games and for PC operating systems.”

According to the commission, “When it comes to multigame subscription services and/or cloud game streaming services, in particular, the commission is concerned that, by acquiring Activision Blizzard, Microsoft may foreclose access, to the detriment of its rival distributors of console and PC video games that offer such services, to its own PC and console video games, which are key for the provision of the nascent services of multigame subscription and cloud game streaming.”

It continued, “Such foreclosure strategies could reduce competition in the markets for the distribution of console and PC video games, leading to higher prices, lower quality, and less innovation for console game distributors, which may, in turn, be passed on to consumers.”

Bobby Kotick explained that the video game company would continue to cooperate with the European Commission. The CEO said that the company has many employees in the countries it represents. “We have been working closely with Microsoft to actively engage regulators in other key countries to answer their questions and provide them with information to assist with their review. People from across our business units and functions have been involved in this regulatory work, and I want to thank each of you for your tireless work and commitment to completing this merger, which we continue to expect to close in Microsoft’s current fiscal year ending June 2023,” stated Kotick.

He continued that the company, responsible for Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush Saga, “remains excited about the great games we continue to release, the growth we expect greater industry investment from so many companies will generate, and completing the merger with Microsoft so we can better compete.”

Bobby Kotick’s Been Integral in Other Acquisitions

The Activision Blizzard CEO told employees that Microsoft wants to acquire the video game holding company because of the talented staff. According to The Washington Post, Kotick said, “Our own board of directors, they recognized that this was a great cash premium in a very, very tenuous economic environment. You can see all around us companies laying off people.”

The company executive added that he doesn’t expect the acquisition ”will be a lot different than when Vivendi owned us. They let us run the business pretty independently. I think that’s largely going to be the case, Microsoft is likely to want to keep almost everybody.”

In February 2016, Activision Blizzard acquired King Digital for $5.9 billion. At the time, Bobby Kotick stated, “We now reach over 500 million users across almost every country, making us the largest game network in the world. We see great opportunities to create new ways for audiences to experience their favorite franchises, from Candy Crush to World of Warcraft to Call of Duty, across mobile devices, consoles, and personal computers. On behalf of Activision Blizzard, we are delighted to welcome King’s talented employees to our family.”

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